The Christos House Outreach and Oregon County officials gathered on Friday, Oct. 5 to recognize the importance of Domestic Violence Awareness month, which is October.
"We have a proclamation that we wanted signed to promote Domestic Violence Awareness month. There is a lot of it [domestic violence] and people don't realize that," said Jan Shields, of Christos House Outreach, which provides domestic violence services. "You see several different colors that represent meaningful causes, and purple is the color that represents domestic violence. This proclamation is signed in hopes that our county will recognize the terrifying number of individuals who face domestic violence on a daily basis. Take a stand to help prevent this terrifying crime"
Shields, along with other program directors joined Southern Commissioner John Wrenfrow, Presiding Commissioner Patrick Ledgerwood and Sheriff George Underwood in the proclamation signing.
Shields added that a display will be available for viewing during the month of October at the courthouse. "It is a silent witness display. It is a 4 by 8 plywood structure of red silhouettes that give statistics about domestic violence in Missouri," said Shields.
Statistics in the display include the fact that, in 2011, seven women, children and men were murdered by domestic violence in Southern Missouri, and 64 domestic violence homicides occured statewide. Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes, so the actual toll is probably higher.
"Christos House Outreach has hopes that we can make the community aware of these tragic events and offer hope of prevention. We want our community to know that we are here to help when people need it. We have a toll free number that is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter what time of the day, Christos House is here to assist in any way possible," said Shields.
A resale shop, located in Alton on the square, is operated by Christos House and all proceeds go to the Oregon County Outreach. Another resale shop, on the square in West Plains raises money for the Howell County Outreach.
If you have questions, or a loved one in need of help, call (800) 611-5853 to learn about the services provided by Christos House Outreach.